Bypass plan back on agenda

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PLANS for a bypass which has been on the cards for 20 years are back on the table, transport chiefs have revealed.

And improvement work at one of the county’s most notorious traffic hotspots is also being proposed.

Lancashire County Council has included the Broughton bypass and improvements to the Broughton roundabout in its capital budget for major schemes.

The Broughton bypass has been discussed for two decades in a bid to reduce congestion along the A6 Garstang Road to and from Lancaster.

But the scheme is financially dependant on the development of homes at the Whittingham Hospital site, which has planning permission but has been delayed because of the economic climate.

Now, the council has said it is committed to getting the scheme off the ground and council officers have gone back to the drawing board to come up with detailed new proposals - although the route is unlikely to change.

At the same time, plans to improve the Broughton roundabout are also back on the table. Around £100,000 will be put into improving the approaches on to it.

A £2m scheme to widen the roundabout was shelved last year after a lack of enthusiasm from residents.

County Coun Geoff Driver, leader of the council, said: “Broughton has suffered serious traffic congestion for at least 40 years and there has been talk of a bypass for 20 years.

“Until now, nobody has come up with a deliverable solution, but this new proposal, combining our agreed plans for the bypass with changes to the A6/M55 roundabout, would greatly improve the situation for residents, road users and businesses.

“The potential benefits for residents’ quality of life are tremendous and we also see it as vital to unlocking the area’s potential for attracting businesses and jobs.

“The project will be heavily subsidised by the private sector. ”

Highways chief County Coun Tim Ashton said: “We feel we can now move forward if the economic climate improves.”

Figures show more than 22,000 vehicles pass through the centre of Broughton on the A6 each day.